We’re starting today with the topic of abortion. And this is a topic that there was a period of time where it was less of an issue. There was less of a question as to whether Roe v Wade was going to remain the law of the land.
But now, with the Supreme Court potentially just weeks away from issuing a ruling that would uphold state restrictions on abortion, which would effectively reverse Roe v Wade, and the undue burden standard that Roe v Wade contains, which we will get to that we are seen expectedly as predicted, more and more states passed the types of laws that we have seen from Mississippi and from Texas and from elsewhere.
And the latest state to do this is now Oklahoma. Oklahoma lawmakers have passed a six-week abortion, banned a ban modeled after the Texas law that allows civil enforcement. That’s another element of this that is wacky, retrograde stuff. Civil enforcement of this law. And we will talk about why a six-week abortion ban is effectively just a ban on abortion, which unquestionably would violate Roe v Wade’s undue burden clause, except Roe v Wade may be reversed.
So let’s look at this first Associated Press reporting
Oklahoma lawmakers Thursday gave final approval to a bill modeled after the controversial Texas abortion law. We knew every state that wants to ban abortion is going to start using that type of they will use each other as models. It is a law that allows private citizens to take civil action against abortion providers as individuals to enforce the law. It’s a sort of vigilantism in practice. The Oklahoma Heartbeat Bill, Heartbeat Act Senate Bill 1503 would prohibit abortions at the time when a physician can detect early cardiac activity in an embryo or fetus. Now understand that it is not.
It had some like to say it is a heartbeat. And doctors often say it’s this is reflexive cardiac activity. To call it a heartbeat isn’t even accurate. That can be as early as six weeks into pregnancy before many women even know they are pregnant. The measure also provides exceptions for medical emergencies.
The state Senate later Thursday also passed House Bill 4327, allowing private citizens to sue abortion providers. House Bill 4327, however, would prohibit abortions at any point of pregnancy with exceptions for medical emergencies, or if the pregnancy comes as the result of rape or sexual assault, incest, and is reported to law enforcement.
So there are two parts to this. First, we’ve already talked because of the Texas bill about the ability for an individual to sue the abortion provider. It’s another way to put in this case, it’s not only the government between doctors and their patients, but random people between doctors and their patients if anybody can bring a civil suit.
But I want to focus on the six-week ban thing, because the defenders of this bill who want to at least pretend about the rule of law, which is Roe v Wade, established that generally speaking, women should have access to abortion services and that no undue burden should be placed on them in order to obtain one.
Now, undue burden is a legal term that is subject to interpretation, and this is where I’ve been for 40 years, that the phrase undue burden has been subject to interpretation by courts at all levels. But a six-week ban would absolutely violate that and just think it through. Many women most women don’t know that they’re pregnant until 4 to 5 weeks. And what I mean by that is, by the time you miss a period and by the time most home pregnancy tests can detect pregnancy, you’re already considered to be four or five weeks pregnant at minimum.
If you at that point were to say, hey, I got a positive pregnancy test, I’m going to go to my doctor, my OB-GYN. They will say, Oh, yeah, it’s not your pregnant. And it’s the first week they would say you are practically speaking for potentially five weeks pregnant at this point in time. And that if the requirement is no abortions after six weeks, what that means is you need to say, oh, well, I need an abortion like tomorrow.
And of course, that is unreasonable. That is an undue burden, even if one can decide that quickly, too. If most of you have tried to get medical appointments lately, you might know you don’t call and they don’t give you an appointment for tomorrow. That’s generally a difficult thing to do. So in practical terms, this is designed to be a total abortion ban and it effectively would be by enforcing the six-week rule.
We will see What happens in the Supreme Court. This bill, this law will be appealed. Based on current law, it would be found against Roe v Wade. It would place an undue burden on women. You can’t say six-week ban. Most women don’t find out until week four or five if they’re pregnant. Right. So right now, it would not it would violate Roe v Wade.
If in a few weeks, the Supreme Court says, well, we’re okay with this law and I believe it’s Mississippi that would effectively overturn Roe v Wade and that would make it so that laws like this one in Oklahoma and the one in Texas and others likely would be allowed. And of course, this then gets us into that situation where what happens? Do people start fleeing red states for blue states, or what is the right thing to do?
What is the expected thing to do?
We don’t know yet, but this is exactly what we did. But as we go back to 2016 that time also I am trying to say I’m worried that there are too many people who aren’t taking seriously this issue of the Supreme Court when they think about Trump versus Hillary. They go, wow, I don’t know if it’s not going to be this person if it’s not going to be that person. Hillary Trump, It’s all the same. And I would say, folks, you have no idea what a few conservative Supreme Court picks by Trump would do to this country.
The first thing they will do is they’re going to try to ban abortion. And then Trump got one pick and then he got a second pick and then he got the third pick. And then we knew they were going to start the state-level bills. The point of those bills is that they are appealed all the way up to the Supreme Court.
And the Supreme Court might say no on the first one, they might say no. On the second one, they might not like some specific aspects of the third one. But if they do it enough with this right-wing court, thanks to Trump defeating Hillary and we have to be honest that that’s what put us in this position. They may well overturn Roe v Wade. We may be weeks from the end of Roe v Wade.